Officials with Moderna said Tuesday that the company’s vaccine is effective in children as young as 12 years old, opening the door for it to be the second COVID-19 vaccine available to children in the U.S.
Company officials said they studied more than 3,700 people between 12 and 17 years old as part of a Phase 2/3 trial of the vaccine. Preliminary findings showed the vaccine triggered the same signs of immune protection in kids as it does in adults, and the same kind of temporary side effects such as sore arms, headache and fatigue.
There were no COVID-19 diagnoses in those given two doses of the Moderna vaccine compared with four cases among kids given dummy shots. In a news release, the company also said the vaccine appeared 93% effective two weeks after the first dose.
Moderna announced its study results weeks after regulators authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for children as young as 12. Stephane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, said the company expects to submit results from its latest study to regulators in June for authorization.
As of Monday, the last date for which data was available, 163.9 million Americans, or just under 50% of the population, had gotten at least one dose of the available COVID-19 vaccines, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures include 5.1 million Americans under 18 years of age who have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.
About 39% of the population -- 130.6 million people -- have so far been fully vaccinated, including 1.9 million people under 18 years old, according to the CDC.
As of Tuesday morning, about 33.1 million COVID-19 cases have been reported across the country, resulting in more than 590,000 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Globally, 167.3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, resulting in 3.4 million deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
©2021 Cox Media Group